The hotel’s heritage, spanning 120 years of rich history, was recognised by UNESCO, which placed the eminent building on its list. All of that was due to the visionary idea of her royal highness, Princess Clotilde of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. She envisaged the entrance to the city via the Elisabeth Bridge as a symbolical door, ruled over by two twin palaces that were promptly named Klotild and Matild. The iconic buildings are regarded among Budapest’s most prominent symbols. Matild Palace Budapest, in particular, became an object of admiration because of its meticulously renovated Secession architecture, countless details and its unmissable charm. Tourists line up to see the hotel and its exceptionally well-preserved architecture. The hotel, located at the gates leading to the city centre, is a city icon. Organising an event at such a prestigious location is considered an experience par excellence.
The omnipresence of Budapest’s diverse public traffic system is highly impressive. Most notably, the city’s accessibility by foot, the convenience of routes, new metro lines, the allure of new trams, public river routes along the Danube, and the silent swoosh of electric busses heard around the city make the accessibility praiseworthy. Air accessibility is, likewise, superb, and the regular bus lines connect the city centre with the nearby airport. Regardless of the crisis, Budapest Airport is well-connected to the American market. Moreover, the country’s premier airline carrier Wizzair, ensures the city is well accessible. The city’s port for river cruisers aplenty on the Danube is close to the hotel and thus brings even more guests to Matild Palace Budapest. The hotel stands proudly in Pest, a part of Budapest that is, as is the case in any metropolis, congested during rush hour. Therefore, we recommend getting around the city on foot or renting a bicycle or electric scooter that are available throughout the city.
COLD STARTER - Architecture and aesthetics
At the turn of the 20th century, a new art movement arose in several European cities, most commonly referred to as Art Noveau today. This trend inspired Princess Clotilde of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Art Noveau’s central idea was embodied in the slogan to every age its art, to every art its freedom. The building was envisaged to become the centre of social life and a harmonious entity with its twin sister across the street. Upon completion in 1902, they became recognised as art wonders par excellence forthwith. The hotel’s renovation thus rightfully took a long time, and it is fair to say architectural studio MKV under the helm of Marie Katsarou Vafiadis did an outstanding job. They stayed true to the movement’s central principle of finding inspiration in the animal world, folklore, national history, exotic cultures, religions and not least in geometrical shapes. You will find all of that in this phenomenal hotel that has once more shined as an imposing monument. In my earnest opinion, the renovation brought to life the idea brilliantly and evolved the hotel technologically.
WARM ENTRÉE - The staff and the culinary experience
Throughout our visit, we found the hotel tailored to perfection. The staff is dedicated and heartfelt to the guests from their arrival at the reception onwards. It seems the team have embodied the hotel’s story, and they are deservedly proud of working in such an institution. Their professionality and alignment with the hotel’s approach astonished us. The elegant experience of arriving at Matild Palace Budapest is what a guest can only wish to experience in another hotel. During our stay, we felt welcome in the hotel’s world of prestige, partly due to the staff in the hotel restaurant, which bears the signature of the famous Wolfgang Puck. He conceived the story of the Spago Restaurant as a modern interpretation and fusion of authentic Hungarian cuisine. The a la carte breakfast was impressive, albeit the service could have been slightly more in rhythm and harmonious. We already look forward to trying the offer in Matild Cafe that will open its door to guests in the summer. The gastronomic offer will be realistically evaluated in its entirety once it is up and running.
MAIN COURSE – The meetings offering at the hotel
Where to start in such a luxurious and detail-filled room? Firstly, the tall bed featuring a mighty headboard impresses upon stepping foot in the room. Its design is dominated by a Secession pattern laced into white leather. It goes hand in hand with a rarely-seen unique pillow that can be invigorated with a fragrance for a good night’s sleep. Equally remarkable is the tiny detail in the form of a Secession-style wall hanger and the stylised furniture from solid wood combined with marble and leather. The table lamps embellished with golden and brass details and the ultra-modern television hidden in the mirror add prestige to the room. The bathroom, featuring golden frames and remarkable details, hints at the city’s spa culture; the hotel has elevated this segment to unseen levels. Moreover, the futuristic technology behind managing light, temperature and curtains is awe-inspiring. Everything in this room is world-class, and if you opt for a room with a scenic view, you can expect to stay in a room fit for the gods.
Two main halls, Duchess and Duke, can be divided into four smaller halls. Each can capacitate up to 100 attendees in a theatre setting. They are accompanied by two smaller conference rooms featuring a fixed number of seats. The interior is identical in all halls, although the designers opted for a honeycomb pattern, visible on the elegant dark walls and pastel details in the foyer. The golden additions appear luxurious, and the art nouveau lighting intertwines the halls with the hotel’s story. Undoubtedly, the halls ooze the feeling of exclusiveness, in particular when guests use the iconic stairway to enter the conference centre. We recommend organising an event in one of the numerous special venues the hotel offers, most noticeably the Matild Cafe & Cabaret, that can be rented for events. Alternatively, meeting planners can hold their events in the Duchess Liquor Library on the hotel terrace.
DESSERT – The extras
A spa guest commented that this is what heaven must be. The entire spa package, including select colours and warm marble, is inspiring and relaxing.
FLOP – NEGATIVE SURPRISES
In a hotel of this calibre, no event organiser nor their client will find a reason to complain. We are convinced they will not be disappointed by the hotel. The staff promptly resolves any minor inconvenience.
TOP – POSITIVE SURPRISES
The Duchess Rooftop Bar is renowned as one of the hottest venues in town. Guests can enjoy the marvellous views above the vibrant Danube from one of the most popular venues in Budapest.
FINAL IMPRESSION AND CREDIBILITY
A milestone year awaits Hotel Matild Palace as it celebrates 120 years since its opening. I do not doubt the new owners will suitably mark the occasion, together with zealots of this iconic hotel. A milestone on its own for the city and the regional hotel industry is the renovation of the building. Following the renovation, the hotel is once again in step with time and has, more importantly, preserved its essence. Thus, the hotel is now fully digitalised in rooms and congress halls. The entire package is a reminder of golden times, with hints of concepts from the future of hotels. We cannot overlook that the hotel boasts the best of what is currently available. Hotel Matild Palace is, in its entirety, a special venue.
An unmistakable exterior, a refined and meticulously-created interior, and effective hotel service make this hotel one of the leading regional city hotels. It is a welcome addition to Budapest’s extensive and intriguing five-star congress offer.
FINAL GRADE: 4.96 GOLD City Meeting Hotel
GOLD final score from 4.81 to 5.00
SILVER final score from 4.61 to 4.80
BRONZE final score from 4.41 to 4.60